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PARIS BASICS

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& LOCATIONS

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MAP OF PARIS

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HOME AT FIRST's

Paris

GETTING HERE
& GETTING
AROUND

 

BASILICA OF SACRE-COEUR ATOP MONTMARTRE, 18TH ARRONDISSEMENT
Photo © HOME AT FIRST

Explore the rich tapestry of Paris
THE GRAND ARCHITECTURE. THE HISTORY OF MILLENNIA. THE HEROIC MONUMENTS.
THE HIGH CULTURE OF THE RIGHT BANK. THE BOHEMIAN VILLAGE LIFE OF THE LEFT BANK.
ART & ARTISTS OF THE PAST & PRESENT IN MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, AND ALONG THE STREET.
FANTASTIC FOOD & WINE from LOCAL RESTAURANTS AND FROM LOCAL MARKETS.
FANCIFUL FASHIONS — FROM HAUTE TO VINTAGE, FROM COUTURIERS TO STREET STALLS.
ALL WITH A SUBTEXT OF DRAMA, OF DEBATE, OF CONVENTION, conflict, and CONTRETEMPS.

 

THE WHERE & HOW OF PARIS: GEOGRAPHY & TRANSPORT

PARISIAN GEOGRAPHY:
20 Arrondissements
, the municipal districts that make up central Paris, surround the River Seine like a pinwheel (see our
MAP OF PARIS). The lower-numbered arrondissements are nearest to the two islands in the Seine that are the oldest parts of the city. The higher-numbered districts extend outward towards the Parisian suburbs.

THE RIVER SEINE, flowing from east to west across central Paris, splits the city in two. Two islands, Île de la Cité and Île St. Louis, are the historical and cultural epicenters of Paris, where the medieval city of Paris was built. The Palais de Justice and Notre Dame cathedral cover much of the Île de la Cité, meccas for

 

Notre Dame cathedral on the Île de la Cité
in the River Seine. The red 130+-year-old
Pont au Double bridge connects the island
with the Left Bank at the Latin Quarter
and the 4th Arrondissement with the 5th.
Photo © HOME AT FIRST

French and foreign visitors.

 

 

The Louvre is a centerpiece of culture in the 1st Arrondissement on the Right Bank of Paris.
Photo © HOME AT FIRST

RIGHT BANK, LEFT BANK. Along the river, the northern arrondissements (especially numbers 1, 4, & 8) are collectively known as the "Right Bank" (La

 

Rive Droite), and the southern

 

Parisian Left Bank street scene in the
6th Arrondissement in the Saint-Germain
district just west of the Latin Quarter.
Photo © HOME AT FIRST

arrondissements (especially numbers 5, 6, & 7) are the famed "Left Bank" (La Rive Gauche). Traditionally, the two banks are thought contrasting in lifestyle. The Right Bank, home to major cultural institutions including The Louvre, The Opera, The Tuileries, and the Champs Elysees upscale shopping avenue, is considered sophisticated, and classically traditional. The Left Bank — home to the Sorbonne (France's premier university) and the surrounding Latin Quarter district — has associations with revolutionary thinkers in the worlds of art, literature, science, philosophy, and politics, and is considered culturally bohemian and avante garde.

 

 

PARISIAN TRANSPORTATION:

COMING & GOING. Just as Paris is the cultural and political center of France, the city is also the nation's transportation hub.

Airports: France's two busiest airports are located in the Paris suburbs: Charles de Gaulle (CDG) northeast of the city, and Orly (ORY) to the south.

All Roads Lead to Paris: Road mileage in France is calculated from a marker (point zero) in the western forecourt of Notre Dame on the Île de la Cité.

Railways — Fast & Slow: A network of 200mph trains connects Paris with cities throughout France, to neighboring

 

Eurostar and TGV trains at the ready at Gare du Nord
railway station in Paris's 10th Arrondissement.
Photo © HOME AT FIRST

countries, and throughout much of

 

Europe. France's TGV and Eurostar (to London via the Channel Tunnel) trains are the leading edge of European railroading. However, while it's now possible to travel, for instance, to London by train in under 3 hours, a 19th century reality still affects rail travel to and from Paris. Six major train stations are located in central Paris, each the legacy of the early days of railroading, and connecting from one Paris station to another has not gotten much easier than it was 100 years ago.

 

 

Buses and Métro trains exchange passengers at
at Maubert - Mutualité in the Latin Quarter near
the Sorbonne university (5th Arrondissement)
.
Photo © HOME AT FIRST

GETTING AROUND PARIS is also not much different than 100 years ago when the Métro subway system was already largely in place. With 16 lines, 133 miles, and more than 300 stations, the Paris Métro transports more than 4 million passengers daily. Central Paris is so densely covered with Métro stations that no place in central Paris is very far from the Métro. For short hops, Paris buses and taxis can be quite helpful. In addition, the 5-lines of the RER suburban train system cross central Paris below ground, inter-changing with the Métro at most of its 33 Paris stations and providing speedy trips to the Eiffel Tower and outside of Paris to the Palace of Versailles, to Disneyland, and to Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports.

          Most HOME AT FIRST guests to Paris receive a transportation pass valid on the Métro, the RER, and the buses of Paris. While public transportation makes getting around the city easy, most visitors find Paris very walkable. Indeed much of the romance of Paris is best discovered strolling through its historic neighborhoods, each with a unique personality worth exploring.

 

MORE ABOUT HOME AT FIRST'S PARIS TRAVEL PROGRAM:

— WHY & HOW —

PARIS

INDEPENDENT TOURING BASICS

PARIS

APARTMENTS

DETAILS & LOCATIONS

— COMBINATIONS —

PARIS PLUS

LONDON

— BOOKING YOUR TRIP —

PARIS

PRICES

& OPTIONS

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK YOUR TRIP, CONTACT

HOME AT FIRST

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